The Seminoles proved just how talented they are by overcoming their toughest obstacle, themselves, to beat Auburn 34-31 Monday night and win the BCS national championship.
I said before the game the only way FSU would lose is if the Noles played poorly and they did just that for nearly three quarters with stupid penalties, undisciplined play on defense, inaccurate throws, dropped passes and questionable coaching.
But these Seminoles are so talented that once they got their act together they scored 21 4th quarter points and completed an unbeaten season, establishing themselves as the greatest team in FSU history and one of the greatest of all-time.
In falling behind 21-3, FSU looked confused and cocky. Auburn Coach Gus Malzhan and his staff put on a coaching clinic. The Tigers went up a down the field, running and throwing. Their receivers often were wide open. What in the name of Bobby Bowden was going on? Where was Jameis Winston’s magic? Where was the defensive discipline? Where was the coaching?
Ironically, a coaching decision by FSU’s Jimbo Fisher made out of desperation may have been the key to victory. The Noles faked a late 2nd quarter punt that set up a TD. It cut the halftime deficit to 21-10. More importantly, it woke up the Noles and shook Auburn’s confidence.
The fake punt will go down in FSU history as one of the greatest plays ever. It could well wind up being Fisher’s greatest and boldest decision. Move over “puntrooskie”; you’ve got company in the annals of FSU football.
I certainly don’t want to take away anything from Jimbo’s gutsy call, but it was made more out of fear than boldness. The game was getting out of hand for the heavily favored Noles. Auburn, on both sides of the ball, had FSU’s players and coaches confused. There was no magic coming from Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback Jameis Winston.
Like most great coaching gambles, had FSU failed on the fake punt Auburn could well have been on its way to not only winning but embarrassing the Seminoles. Auburn was in complete control and FSU had its finger on the panic button.
But the play did work. The atmosphere in the Rose Bowl changed. The Tigers were staggered; the Seminoles felt hope.
Oh, the game was hardly easy after that, but the Noles’ talent took over and they suddenly appeared to be what they were, the better team.
Still, it took an 80-yard drive in the final 79 seconds for FSU to win. Jameis put the “Famous” back in his nickname name, passing FSU down the field. His 2-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin with only 13 ticks left to play was needed to secure the 2013 Seminoles’ place in college football history.
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